Leading European online bookmaker bet365 has forged its first US-centric sports betting partnership with Nasdaq-listed gambling group Empire Resorts Inc.
Issuing a market update, bet365 enters a 20-year agreement with Empire, which will see the online betting group become lead digital and land-based sports betting services provider for the ‘Resorts World Catskills’ casino in upstate New York.
At present, Resorts World Catskills is one of only four commercial casinos properties operating within New York State, with the premises holding the closest proximity to Manhattan.
The Empire alliance sees bet365 gain a significant strategic foothold within New York, a jurisdiction predicted to become one of the state’s largest betting markets (dependent on pending regulation).
“Joining forces with bet365 positions Empire and our flagship Resorts World Catskills to lead a potentially enormous new market,” said Manny Pearlman, Executive Chairman of Empire Resorts, Inc.
“bet365’s global expertise in effectively developing and executing world-class sportsbooks strongly complements Empire’s leadership in commercial casino operations in New York. This collaboration, which will enable Resorts World Catskills to be a leading destination for sports wagering in New York State, highlights our commitment to the continued growth of Resorts World Catskills, as well as our dedication to working with the best, most innovative pioneers in the industry to provide world-class gaming options.”
Developing its US profile, bet365 has set-up an affiliate subsidiary ‘Hillside NY LLC’ which will acquire up $50 million of Empire’s common stock in two tranches becoming the Nasdaq firm’s second largest investor.
Seeking to develop, New York’s leading gambling destination, Empire’s lead investor Kien Huat has committed to a purchasing $126 million of Empire convertible preferred stock, significantly boosting the enterprises working capital for future initiatives.
“This landmark agreement, which combines Empire’s gaming operating skill with our expertise in providing best-in-class online sports betting, allows bet365 to tap into what we believe will be one of the most significant online and sportsbook markets in the United States,” said Simon Betteley, President of Hillside NY LLC, a bet365 affiliate.